As a child, my brothers, friends and I would pretend to play "pirates" with an old telescope or 'spyglass'.  We would look through the 'wrong end' and pretend things were far away.  We would then look through the 'right end' and see how close they were, and prepare for battle with the pirates!

Funny, how we tend to do that same thing, later in life.  We pretend that some things, which are usually the UNPLEASANT things, are far off, giving us a sense of temporary security, and we don't even need a spyglass.

I selected this bible verse a from a section of Bible scriptures and decided to peer at it through the 'wrong end of the spyglass'.  Then, I turned the 'telescope' to the right end and took a second look.  Amazing!

See what you think.

 

Matthew 24:8  “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

 

 

What does this say?  What do you think it means, at first glance?

 

If you have never been married or present at childbirth, then you can imagine this at a distance, through the "wrong end of the spyglass", so to speak, because it may be a long way off from you, right now. 

 

But, if you have been married or been present when a woman goes into labor, you have a pretty good idea that a difficult process has begun.  You may not know what you and the woman are in for, and the farther you get into the birth pangs, the more you realize this may not be quick nor easy.

If you have been through it more than once you know you are probably in for a long process that tends to get very difficult and messy before something great happens, and you can say you have been "up close and personal", seeing through the right end of the spyglass, indeed!

But, Matthew 24:8 is referring to something other than actual child birth.  This verse is using child birth as a metaphor or a simile.  And it works, mostly, to get the reader to pause and consider what child birth is like before continuing.  It tends to set the stage in the reader's mind for the subject of the end-times.

The plain language presented here, and in Biblical references associated with this verse, seem to have been obscured, over time, by a religious and denominational bias.  So, I wondered if we could be, in any way, looking at it through the wrong end of a telescope or spyglass, so to speak?  So, let's take a second look from another perspective - the other end of the spyglass?

I have suggested this idea before, in a different format, and, it has been met with everything from optimism to indifference to skepticism to outrage (yes, outrage by some of my fundamentalist friends).

But, considering that the 'Theologians and bible and prophecy experts' of ancient times so badly misinterpreted the first coming of the Christ Child, I think considering viable alternatives could be healthy and informative and even wise.

 

So, I ask again, what do you think this says, and what do you think it means?

 

Matthew 24:8  “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

 

Now, let's look at this verse in a fuller context:

 

Jesus has just come from speaking to his disciples the scribes and the Pharisees and His language is direct, passionate and full of woe towards that generation and the religious leaders. (see Matthew 23) 

 

He concludes His remarks in Matthew 23 with "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate"!
 

Matthew 24:1  Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 

Verse 3  "As He (Jesus) was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Verse 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.

Verse 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

Verse 6 “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

Verse 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Jesus makes an amazing prediction or prophecy in verse one.  Then, Jesus' disciples ask Him three questions.

#1.  When will these things happen

#2.  What will be the sign of Your coming

 

#3.  What will be the sign of the end of the age

 

Jesus' answer is very specific, both in description and timing.  I suspect your understanding will depend on which end of the spyglass you are using.

 

And, what if, just WHAT IF we have 'length of days' correct, but the beginning of times incorrect?

#1.  Don't be mislead.  Many will come saying "I am the Christ".  (Please, consider both the individuals and the institutional deception.  This is very important)

 

#2.  Wars and rumors of war; nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines and earthquakes have been going on ever since Jesus gave this prophecy.  They are nothing new.

 

#3.  Then Jesus makes the exclamatory statement.  “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."

 

This is not coded language.  It is straight forward, like looking through the right end of the telescope. “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.


Jesus goes on to say:

 

Verse 9 “Then

 

(a)  they will deliver you to tribulation,

 

(b)  and will kill you,

 

(c)  and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

 

Verse 10 “At that time

 

(a)  many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

 

(b)  “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

 

(c)  “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

 

Verse 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

 

Verse 14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

 

Please notice that Jesus begins verse nine with the word THEN, indicating that something is to follow, and He concludes in verse 14 with the word THEN, indicating the conclusion of things that have come before. 

 

He concludes one section of thought or description and begins a new set of circumstances which we should consider.

You can, and should, carefully compare these WORDS OF JESUS found in Matthew to the corollary verses found in the book of Revelation for context and confirmation.

So, why does this matter?  Could this have already begun?

 

And, what if, just WHAT IF we have 'length of days' correct, but the beginning of times incorrect?
 

It matters.  It matters greatly.

Here is a power point presentation as a help visualize this matter:

 

 

 

(Just double-click on the image)

 

So?  What is your response?  What should you do about what you know?

Become The Remnant of God and join Jesus in these last days and Go and make disciples.  Teach, preach, baptize, tell others.

 

Go to our home page and read up, pray up, sign up.

Your Brother and Co-Laborer





 

Mike Young

 

(A video reenactment Matthew 24:1-35  https://www.bible.com/videos/3152-matthew-24-1-35-from-lumoproject-dot-com )

(A video reenactment Matthew 24:36-51  https://www.bible.com/videos/3153-matthew-24-36-51-from-lumoproject-dot-com )

 

 

(A video reenactment Matthew 23:1-12  https://www.bible.com/videos/3141-matthew-23-1-12-from-lumoproject-dot-com

(A video reenactment Matthew 23:13-39  https://www.bible.com/videos/3143-matthew-23-13-39-from-lumoproject-dot-com )